Institute President & CEO Ryan Haygood writes

When New Jersey celebrates Juneteenth as a state holiday for the first time on Saturday, people from across the state will rally in Newark with one clear message: It’s time to say “the word.”

That word is “reparations.”

Juneteenth — also known as Freedom Day — has been a tradition in the United States for more than 150 years.

It marks the day, June 19, 1865, when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas finally learned about their freedom — more than two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.